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Old habits die hard

The phrase old habits die hard is Often used to excuse some behavior that people wish They Could stop. Though there is any truth behind this common phrase? I will discuss Whether it is possible to break our old habits or Whether They Do indeed die hard.

When talking about habits, or habitual behavior, I am Referring to Behaviours that are insensitive to reinforcer devaluation. By this I mean that an action, such as pressing a lever to gain the reward, continues even if the reward is no longer present or of value.


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Many of our actions in daily life consist of all habit such as washing our hands after going to the toilet. A lot of Behaviours These are 'neutral' though They can be positive or negative actions. The phrase 'old habits die hard' is Often used in conjunction with negative Behaviours that can be detrimental to the individual or just the Necessary longer. For example, biting Their nails and laying the table for someone who has recently moved in October respectively.

Another type of behavior that Occurs on a frequent basis is goal-directed behavior Which is the behavior where you have the representation of the final output in mind, ie you're performing a particular action to Achieve A Certain goal. Goal-directed Behaviours can evolve into regular Behaviours and this difference between usual and goal-directed B, the part of the forebrain.


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The question of old habits die hard is really a question of how Difficult it is to break your habits, if even possible. To know if it is possible to break the habit it would help to know how the habit was formed in the first place. The behavior moves from goal-directed to usual there is an equivalent shift from the (goal-directed) to the (Usually) part of the striatum. There are many studies have Demonstrate These functional differences between different regions of the striatum

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In term of brain connectivity, to break old habits, the brain connections shouldnt be from the ventral striatum to oppose to the dorsals striatum. Though how is it possible to do this? There is a wealth of research on the formation and maintenance of habit though I have not found any paper that have Studied, in depth, the breaking of habits. There are papers Which However suggest that it is not an irreversible single path leading from goal-directed to the usual circuit but rather that there is ongoing competition between the two circuits. The behavior is controlled by which ever Then circuit is stronger at that team. So perhaps When people say that old habits die hard it means that Their behavior is controlled by the dorsal striatum and Their Therefore Their usual brain circuit.

 It is possible to break old habit and return the behavior to the goal directe response. The competition between circuits is adaptive in most situations the the Behaviours can be altered under changing situations. These changes in behavior though are really slower than if the habit circuit had never develope dominance over the goal circuit. There is a huge advantage to us We Can Develop usual Behaviours are automatic and the take up our limited cognitive power.


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The competition b / w the two circuit Also explain the individual differences between how different people find it easy to kick the habit. You probably know someone who tries to give up smoking every month and maybe Also someone who just DECIDED that one day They would stop and have not smoked since. It may be that individual These differences in the ease by Which people can give up habit is due to a difference in the dominances of the different circuit and Therefore the ease with Which someone can change from the usual behavior Their back to goal-directed. In conclusion, it seems that the phrase old habits die hard is an over simplifications of the Difficulties some people find in changing Their usual behavior back to the voluntary, goal-directed behavior controlled by Their ventral striatum.


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